New York State Trooper Qualifications

New York State trooper candidates must meet a number of qualification standards.
New York State trooper candidates must meet a number of qualification standards. (Image: Images)

The New York State Police provides law enforcement services for the entire state that include interstate patrols and accident reconstruction, canine patrols, counterterrorism, forensic sciences, commercial vehicle enforcement, narcotics enforcement, marine patrol and a computer crimes unit. The department consists of more than 4,900 sworn troopers and 1,100 non-sworn support staff. To qualify to be a trooper, candidates must meet numerous requirements that include age, physical standards and education.


Applicants must have a high school diploma at the time they apply to be a New York State trooper. They must successfully pass the entrance examination and the 26-week, residential training course at the New York State Police Academy. At the time of a trooper’s appointment, he also must have completed at least 60 hours of college credit hours, or 30 hours if he received an honorable discharge after at least two years of active military service, or successfully completed a certified police officer training course equivalent to the one in New York.

Physical Ability

All applicants must successfully complete the physical ability test, which includes a flexibility, dynamic strength and cardiovascular endurance component. Female candidates ages 20 to 29 must complete at least 41 sit-ups in one minute, 24 untimed push-ups and a 1.5-mile run in 13:53 to pass the test and graduate from the academy. Male candidates age 20 to 29 must complete 45 sit-ups, 41 push-ups and a 1.5-mile run in 10:47. Applicants must also meet height and weight standards. A medium-framed 5 foot 5 inch female must weight between 116 and 130 pounds or have a body fat percentage of no more than 26.1 percent. A medium-framed 5 foot 10 inch male must weight between 146 and 160 pounds or have a body fat percentage of no more than 18.9 percent. Their vision must be no poorer than 20/100 and correctable to 20/20, and they cannot be color-blind.

Moral Character and Physical Appearance

Troopers must have a good moral character and have no felony criminal record. They must be willing to work rotating shifts that will include holidays. They must also have a neat and professional appearance at all times, with no visible tattoos, piercings or other body art. A trooper applicant may be asked to remove any tattoos that would be visible while wearing her uniform or that are inconsistent with the values of the New York State Police.

Other Requirements

Trooper applicants can be no younger than 21 years of age at the age of their appointment and no older than 30 years of age before their application deadline, or 36 years of age if they were active members of the military. Trooper applicants must also be U.S. citizens by the application deadline and residents of the state of New York. An applicant must have a valid New York State driver's license and must also pass a psychological evaluation, background investigation and polygraph test and a medical examination.

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